Candle iPower

November 29, 2011

It was well into what should have been a long winter’s nap. She walked into the room just as He was blowing an unidentified object off of the keyboard of his laptop:

She: “Sorry, love, but that won’t work.”

He: “What won’t?”

She: “Trying to turn the computer off by blowing it out. You have to use the shutdown routine.”

He: “The shutdown what?

She:Routine. You know. First you press the ‘Start’ button …”

He: “And it sits there and laughs at you. Are you OK?”

She: “No worse than usual. Though it’s past my bedtime.”

He: “Ah. That explains it.”

She: “Explains what?”

He: “How you could have forgotten that, with a computer, nothing’s ‘routine’. I did wonder, though, if somebody down in Silicon Valley had done something clever.”

She: “You mean, besides putting brains the size of a planet in little boxes so you can do word processing and complain about it?”

He: “I mean, solving the power problem.”

She: “You told me there wouldn’t be math!”

He: “Not that power problem. I mean the one about batteries and stuff. Trying to get some really good and reliable way of keeping the computers running, without filling up landfills and having to plan mining trips to the moon and Mars for raw materials, ‘rare earths’ and things like that.”

She: “Yeah?”

He: “So I was working on this computer, and put it on my lap and it was hot!

She: “And?”

He: “So I went looking for the candle.”

She: “Right. Running a computer with candlepower. I know steampunk’s all the rage these days, dear, but this isn’t one of your brightest ideas all the same. It’s obviously past your bedtime, too!”

Quilly is the pseudonym of Charlene L. Amsden, who lives in the Pacific Northwest. When she is not doing book reviews or creating curriculum literature units, she is working on writing the next great American novel. You may visit her writing blog at To change this standard text, you have to enter some information about your self in the Dashboard -> Users -> Your Profile box.

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